We reached out to our Facebook Community to ask what advice they would give to someone going on a sabbatical, and these were the 6 key takeaways:
1. Be clear and curious about your goals.
Questions that may help you figure this out – Are you going on a sabbatical to rest? Are you going on a sabbatical to travel? A new skill set? Importantly, step back to figure out if these goals are from your work-self’s achievement mindset, or whether they tap into something more core to who you are when you put work aside.
2. Get your finances right.
It’s not a sabbatical if you are constantly fretting about money, so create a plan for managing your budget. This doesn’t mean you necessarily plan out your travels to a penny–in fact most folks relish the optionality long-term leave provides–but rather at least identifying how much time you can spend without worrying about money and work. That gives you a time-bound container to be present in your sabbatical, before re-engaging with earning money and stressing about work!
3. Disconnection and downsizing.
Disconnect as much as you can and tap your energy into other areas of your life that you have been neglecting or looking to invest your time in. Extended travel helps by reminding you how little you can survive–and thrive–with. (This includes realizing how little money you actually need to be happy.)
4. Don’t forget to write it all down.
Your sabbatical will likely be the most dense collection of memories in your life. You don’t need to share these with others, but don’t forget to capture the moments for your future self. Whether through photographs, videos, blogging, journaling, writing, making art or music, sabbatical alums treasure the memories of a completely different way of living.
5. Travel, travel, travel.
While not everyone has the luxury of being able to travel wherever they want on sabbatical, getting outside of your home and work routine is crucial for opening creative pathways. Even those who couldn’t leave their home country relished taking weekend trips with their spouse or one child at a time to mark the special nature of the time off.
6. Last but not least, try to learn new things.
This is your time of discovery; use it wisely. It can even be a job-like activity, like trying to write a book, or help a friend start a business. Just make sure it doesn’t feel like work!
If you still need more ideas, join our Facebook group and interact with people from around the world setting out on sabbatical. We also have first-hand accounts on our website of inspiring sabbatical stories and how these unique individuals navigated their sabbaticals.
If you feel you need that extra nudge from a guiding hand, consider working with one of our coaches.